Sri Lanka inks five-year action plan with IRRI | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka inks five-year action plan with IRRI

Sri Lanka signed a five-year action plan with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines on Friday in a bid to make Sri Lanka a self-sufficient nation in rice, while reducing impacts of climate change.

The action plan was signed during President Maithripala Sirisena’s official visit to the Philippines this week. President’s Media Division sources said International IRRI Director General Dr. Matthew Morell, Deputy Director General and the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka signed the action plan. The plan consists of 10 priority areas that will be the foundation for joint collaborative research for development (R4D) pipeline projects aimed to enhance the resilience and viability of Sri Lanka’s rice production sector.

The sources said the IRRI has the largest rice reserve in the world and releases different varieties of seeds. It produces rice seeds that are high resistant to drought, floods and antibiotics.

The IRRI has developed seed varieties that can adapt to global warming.

During his visit to the institute, President Sirisena was briefed on cultivation management procedures and seeds that are endemic to Sri Lanka. Dr. Morell said the IRRI has programs to assist Sri Lanka to reduce the impacts of climatic change on paddy production.

“Improving the resilience and sustainability of Sri Lanka’s rice economy through environmentally sustainable approaches is of utmost importance to address the challenges of population growth, agricultural production and climate change,” Dr. Morell said.